Diane Disney Miller: Daughter of Walt Disney who spent much of her life tirelessly preserving the film mogul's legacy
Wednesday 20 November 2013
Diane Disney Miller was the daughter of Walt Disney and one of his inspirations for Disneyland. "He'd take me and my sister to the merry-go-round at Griffith Park and stand there all day until we were ready to go," she recalled. "As he stood there, he kept thinking there should be more for parents and children to do together, and the idea for Disneyland was born."
She also played a key role in the completion of the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, a project that started with a $50m gift from her mother. In 1997 she fought project leaders who said Gehry's firm lacked the experience to execute the plans for the building's unusual curved polished steel design.
At a crucial point, she threatened to withhold the $20m remaining of her mother's gift if Gehry was not kept on. "She was the turning point," Gehry said. She also founded the Walt Disney Family Museum, which opened in 2009 in San Francisco. One of her concerns was that her father's name had become associated more with a corporate identity than with the man himself. "I wanted something that would bear my father's name, that would come from his wealth but not be commercial," she said.
In 2007 she sent a fax to Disney executives denouncing Neal Gabler's book, Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, as "a monstrous piece of libellous junk. My parents were not the people he creates in this book, and I cannot understand why all of you who aided and abetted Gabler in writing this book, and who praise it and promote it, can do so without suffering serious qualms."
Diane Disney, philanthropist: born Los Angeles 18 December 1933; married 1954 Ron Miller (four sons, three daughters); died Napa, California 19 November 2013.
Justin Bieber was one of the hardest hit
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...
£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...